November 30th, 2012 | by WW Arts And Culture Staff Features | Posted In: Willamette Weekend

Willamette Weekend

12 Things to do in Portland, Nov. 30-Dec. 2

     
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music_clublist_3815THE CONQUISTADOR - IMAGE: Mike Grippi
Friday, Nov. 30 

Eric Stern 
[MUSIC] On his new solo album, Little Stories, accordionist-composer Eric Stern’s theatrical, wryly funny and occasionally naughty lyrics, memorable tunes and literally operatic vocals take center stage more than they do with his main squeeze, Vagabond Opera. His steampunk-ish songs about chess obsessives, golems, Paris, mysterious ladies and more—some from his recent operetta, Queen of Knives— perfectly suit Stern’s louche gypsy cabaret style, and his affection for his musical heroes, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, has never been clearer, or more welcome. BRETT CAMPBELL. Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Ave., 249-3983. 7 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show. All Ages. 

Califone, Rebecca Gates and the Consortium 
[MUSIC] Califone is one of the rare bands whose music doesn’t sound rooted in a particular place or time period. The group’s first two self-titled EPs—released in 1999 and 2000— were beautiful and pretty startling: Here was a batch of Chicago-based misfits that found the tissue connecting turn-of-the-century blues and folk, experimental rock and glitchy dance music. The threads were always there, but now we finally had a road map. Califone visits us on the eve of a reissue of its first two EPs, released earlier this month by local label Jealous Butcher Records. ROBERT HAM. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. $13 advance, $15 day of show. 21+

Federale
[MUSIC] Conceived as a living tribute to the Westerns of Sergio Leone and the dusty Ennio Morricone soundtracks that accompanied them, Federale has one of the best gimmicks of any band in Portland. Like Quentin Tarantino movies, the band, which spun off from the Brian Jonestown Massacre in 2005, is too enamored with its influences to ever be much more than an exercise in mimicry, but the fun is in seeing how close they come to hitting the mark. MATTHEW SINGER. Doug Fir Lounge, 9 pm. $10. 21+.


Saturday, Dec. 1 

Bike Craft 
[SHOPPING] Christmas shopping isn’t just for Suburban-driving suburbanites anymore—cyclists get their own massive celebration of seasonal commerce by buying a leather bag from Nomad-Unlimited, a cap from Double Darn Clothing or a sweet set of fenders from Sykes Wood. Sandbox Studio, 420 NE 9th Ave., bikecraftpdx.com. 11 am-6 pm Saturday and Sunday. Free. 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream 
[PERFORMANCE] November and December seem, at first, an odd time to stage A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But Midsummer is also the Bard’s most fantastical play and one of his most accessible, and by that measure it fits with the season’s tendency for escapist holiday entertainment. Portland Center Stage’s entertaining production, directed by Oregon Shakespeare Festival veteran Penny Metropulos, plays up Midsummer’s mischief without sacrificing warmth. The staging is physically spirited and effective, and the parallel plot lines unfold enjoyably, if a bit comfortably. It’s no new wheel, but director Penny Metropulos and her talented cast provide the old one with plenty of grease. REBECCA JACOBSON. Gerding Theater, 128 NW 11th Ave., 445-3700. 7:30 pm Tuesdays- Sundays, 2 pm Sundays. Noon select Thursdays, 2 pm select Saturdays through Dec. 23. $30-$70.

Dom-Prov 
[COMEDY] If your idea of fun is playing improv games with a leather-clad dominatrix as an audience hurls marshmallows at you, this Unscriptables show is for you. Funhouse Lounge, 2432 SE 11th Ave., 309-3723. 10 pm Saturdays through Dec. 29. “Pay what you will.”

Celebrate 
[DANCE] High-flying acrobatics meet African rhythms in Celebrate, a one-night show and bazaar benefiting local startups. Come early for dinner and holiday shopping—local vendors provide the goods—followed by a divergent performance lineup. Kazüm and Night Flight demonstrate the possibilities of acrobatic and aerial movement; from the international dance realm, you get Mathias Galley, a touring member of the National Dance Company of Ghana, as well as the Kalabharathi School of Dance (showcasing the South Indian style Bharatanatyam) and Ramon and Cecily Capistran, both dancing salsa and bachata. That leaves contemporary dance, well-represented here by Broadway dancer-turned-local-studio-owner Kemba Shannon and the phenomenon that is Ten Tiny Dances, in which a rotating cast of local choreographers are creatively challenged by the constraints of a 4-by-4-foot stage. Proceeds from the event benefit Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon’s Family and Community Empowerment program, which offers business support to underserved aspiring entrepreneurs. Parkrose High School, 12003 NW Shaver. 5:30 pm marketplace, 7 pm performances Saturday, Dec. 1. $25- $30, free for marketplace.

Death Grips 
[MUSIC] The modernist hip-hop trio is known best lately for subversive moves like posting its third album, No Love Deep Web, for free online, a stunt that got it dropped from Epic Records, but at least Death Grips has the talent to back up its antics. The trio’s dark, vicious sound bears the marks of Zach Hill’s experimentalist history and a love for electronic music’s freakier output. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave., 248-4700. 9 pm. $15. All ages.

The Be Good Tanyas, Huck Notari 
[MUSIC] Those eagerly anticipating the reunion of beloved folk trio the Be Good Tanyas, originally scheduled for this past September, had to wait a while longer while sometime-Portlander Samantha Parton recovered from a car accident. But these three singular singers, who combined to such thrilling effect through much of the last decade, are finally together again following a five-year hiatus. The Vancouver, B.C., group entwines nominal leader Frazey Ford’s gently meandering voice and glancing blows at diction, Parton’s more grounded alto and Trish Klein’s quavering high harmonies—plus the ladies’ sure-handed command of traditional instruments—into an unique blend that makes old songs sound new and their solid originals sound old. JEFF ROSENBERG. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 234-9694. 8 pm. $20 advance, $22 day of show. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian.



Sunday Dec. 2 

The Mush Fair 
[FUNGUS] As part of the broader Oregon Mushroom Stories festival, you can view an “interactive zoetrope sculpture” of the fungi life cycle by local artist collective Belly & Bones, and purchase mushroomgrowing kits, already-grown mushrooms and mushroom-related gifts. The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel, 403 SW 10th Ave., oregonmushroomstories.org. 2-6 pm. Free.

3 Inches of Blood, Huntress, the Hookers, On Enemy Soil, Weresquatch
[
MUSIC] There’s been plenty of ballyhoo on the Internet about Huntress lead vocalist Jill Janus. Her image as a scantily clad witch-princess and her former gig as a Playboy Bunny have caused many to scoff at her metal bands’ credentials and rapid rise to fame. But if you’ve seen the band live, or done your homework, you’ll find Janus has had a lifelong love affair with metal, coupled with an operatic four-octave vocal range. Some bands are independently wealthy, some have a booking agent in the group and others just happen to have a stunning knockout for a singer. There should be no shame in using your assets, so long as the music comes first. NATHAN CARSON. Hawthorne Theatre, 3862 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 233- 7100. 8 pm. $13 advance, $15 day of show. All Ages. 

Lawrence Arabia, Andrew Keoghan
[MUSIC] New Zealander James Milne’s brilliant 2009 release Chant Darling is the ultimate how-to on melodic pop. The songwriting mind behind Lawrence Arabia toured extensively in the record’s wake, never developing the sizable fan base we all thought he deserved. With new album The Sparrow, Milne expresses his disgust with Pro Tools and moves toward the minimalist. Echoing the elegant sparseness of Serge Gainsbourg and the chilling musical tension of David Byrne, Milne has made another lasting impression—though, this time, it’s a bit darker, a bit eerier and a bit more orchestral. MARK STOCK. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. $10. 21+.

 
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